Structured Cabling System Verification Program

structured cabling verification:

ensure your cabling is standards-compliant

What is the ITS/ETL Independent Field Verification Program?

etlverified

An independent verification of your installed Structured Cabling System for compliance with the ANSI/TIA-568 requirements and other bid specifications pertaining to your Structured Cabling System.

BICSI News Nov_Dec 2010

BICSI News

Third-Party Independent Verification

Boosting Workmanship and Value

BICSI News

BICSI News

Specialty Systems Commissioning

A layered approach for streamlining performance verification

cimcover

The ITS/ETL field verification program was featured in Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine.

Independent Testing Verifies Network Integrity

structured_cabling_cover

who is its/etl?

Intertek Testing Services (ITS) is the largest certification and testing organization in the world, with more than 2 million annual inspections, certifications, and tests worldwide and is an OSHA-Accredited, nationally recognized testing laboratory, with earnings reported at more than $600 million.  ETL is part of the performance division of ITS, specializing in testing and administration of third-party certification programs.  ETL is nationally recognized for its "ETL Cable Verification Program" and you will see the "ETL Verified" mark on the outer jacket of high-performance LAN cables.

what is a field verification partner (FVP)?

To implement this program cost effectively and provide local services to you anywhere in the country, the ITS/ETL field verification program is made up of a team of highly qualified independent firms in the structured cabling industry. These firms are staffed with Registered Communications Distribution Designers (RCDDs), who are independent to the cabling installation and manufacturing process.

Concert Technologies helped to launch the program at BICSI world headquarters and is the Field Verification Coordinator.  Concert Technologies provides quality assurance to the independent verification of your Structured Cabling System project by reviewing all documentation and discussing technical aspects of the cabling system with each field verification partner prior to ITS/ETL approval. Concert Technologies also assists in the coordination and selection processing of each field verification partner.

bicsi don&jay

The ETL plaque that signifies that BICSI has been independently verified by ETL to the ANSI/TIA-568 Structured Cabling System standards.

bicsi logo
scroll

Why have your Structured Cabling independently verified?

Cabling contractors typically have concurrent installations.

In this fast-paced industry, cabling contractors are continuously put under tremendous pressure from numerous concurrent jobs. You don't want to have your job put anywhere else but the top of the list for skilled labor and quality workmanship. By having an ITS/ETL Field Verification Partner to institute the program of independent verification at your installation site, you will be surprised how fast your job moves to the top of that contractor's priority list. The quality of workmanship increases dramatically because the contractor is aware that an expert in Structured Cabling Systems, independent of the installation team, is inspecting, testing, and reporting on the work.

Sample language for contract

resource poor1
resource poor2

Resource Allocation without Structured Cabling Verification

Resource Allocation with Structured Cabling Verification

The "Low Bid"

Most federal, state, and local governmental agencies have procurement requirements which mandate that the lowest compliant bidder receives the award. Into what position does this put the end-user of the Structured Cabling System?  The end-user is left with an unknown installation contractor who hasn't earned trust; and, at the end of the job, the end-user often finds out why the contractor was the cheapest. When industry standards are not met and the network is in jeopardy, who can end-user turn to?

etl_slide

Having an ITS/ETL Field Verification Partner on your side provides the assurance that an independent, experienced team will be verifying the installation for compliance to the ANSI/TIA-568 standard. When you specify in your request for proposal (RFP) that an "ITS/ETL field verification partner will independently verify the installation for compliance to the ANSI/TIA-568 standard," you can be sure that there will be a thought-out response to your proposal from the installation contractor. They will be aware at the bidding stage that an ITS/ETL Field Verification Partner will be verifying the installation for compliance.

Is your installation physically compliant to ANSI/TIA-568 Structured Cabling standard?

There are thousands of Structured Cabling Systems installed each year that do not adhere to the ANSI/TIA-568 installation and performance standards. Although this lack of compliance may not cause immediate concern at the time of installation and, most of the time, is over-looked, future ramifications of a poorly installed Structured Cabling System can be devastating on high-speed transmission over the life-cycle of your network. Here are some examples:

  • UTP category 5e cables, exceeding more than .5", untwist in terminated spaces, what about Category 6 Structured Cabling System?
  • The horizontal cables have been spliced in the ceiling because the cables were too short to terminate on connecting hardware.
  • Poor quality patch cords that are not Category 6 channel qualified are used.
  • Cable jacket abrasion - a sign that the cable could be damaged and a failure could result if the cable is moved.
  • Unused fiber connectors having polarity reversal and not having protected covers applied to them, subjecting connectors to environmental contaminants.

Do you know if all cable links have been tested and examined thoroughly upon your Structured Cabling System certification?

Just because you have had the installation contractor supply you permanent link reports does not mean that all cables have been tested 100%. For the most part, contractors do not intentionally miss cabled locations to save a few dollars on testing, but mistakes frequently occur. They are especially prevalent in pre-wired locations that are not required to be plugged in at the time of occupancy, or are in inaccessible areas at the time the testing occurred.

This is why it is so important to have an outside independent source performing the certification of your Structured Cabling System. Taking time to examine each individual test report by an RCDD, as well cross-referencing each test report to assure the installed location on current floor plans matches with each jack (insert) number, can ensure accuracy. After an examination of all the test reports, the contractor corrects all locations in question.

Will there be litigation because your Structured Cabling System will not perform?

With an increase in manufacturer warranty programs that offer performance guarantees of anywhere from fifteen years to life, there will be an increase in litigation. You will need an independent source to provide the installation facts.

Conclusion

As you can see with so much riding on your Structured Cabling System investment, it pays to have an ITS/ETL Field Verification Partner on your side. Now for the first time in the cabling industry, you will have an expert independently evaluating your site. This will bring a better quality installation with an attention to details that has been missing before.

Independent verification of your Structured Cabling System has numerous benefits:

  • Increases the probability that your Structured Cabling System project will be at the top of the cabling contractor's list for quality workmanship and allocated resources.
  • Assures a more thorough, though-out response to the Request for Proposal and installed SCS project from the awarded contractor, even when the end user is subjected to the "low bid" requirements.
  • Testing above typical auto test functions to ensure more headroom and better quality links and channels.
  • Ensures a thorough examination of test reports by an RCDD.
  • Determines whether older Category 5e cabling links are capable of running higher speed applications such as Gigabit Ethernet.
  • Ensures that all copper and fiber pre-wired locations are labeled correctly and will operate properly when they are eventually brought on-line.
  • Provides a third-party proof of performance for cabling system warranty issues.
  • Reduces the chance of litigation.
  • Provide a third-party proof of performance for litigated issues

International Structured Cabling System Verification

  • ISO/IEC 11801 - The International Standard for Structured Cabling Systems.
  • CENELEC EN 50173 - The European Cabling Standard (British Version: BS EN 50173)

Data Communications
Industry observers say up to 20% of the existing Category 5e cabling runs may not support high-speed traffic. Most of difficulties encountered so far are caused by cabling that was improperly installed and connected.

LAN Times
Experts say that less than one-fifth of all Category 5e installations in the United States adhere to TIA termination guidelines.